The Scottish National Party gained power at the 2007 Scottish Parliament election forming a minority government. In the 2011 Parliament election, they formed Holyrood's first majority government. After the 2016 Parliament elections, they entered their third consecutive term as Scotland's Devolved Government.
In a number of area's, the SNP take a different approach to the Westminster model of governance and this can be seen in practice by the subject of this article.
In 2008, the First Minister at that time (Alex Salmond) embarked on a new program of engagement with Scotland's electorate. This involved the First Minister and around a dozen Cabinet Members attending an event where they would answer any questions put to them by members of the Public. These events were characterised as the "Travelling Cabinet".
The accompanying video was recorded on 7th August 2019 and was the 50th such event since that first meeting took place back in 2008.
These events have been held from the Nothern Isles to the Borders, from the Western Isles to the East coast (and almost everywhere in between).
Members of the public are encouraged to ask any questions they like. Their questions can be about local issues, national issues or global in nature. The audience are a random selection from the local area and their questions are completely unknown to the speakers ahead of time. The Q&A session lasts for around 90 minutes and is followed by a further session where the speakers and the audience can continue with their engagement over a cuppa and a slice of cake.
The Travelling Cabinet has been a valuable tool in adressing the many, many issues that are important to Scots all over our nation. It informs the public on the ambitions and progress of Government policy and also enables the Government to learn about key issues and concerns that really matter to the citizens they represent.
This is how we do politics in Scotland.
Published: 08 August 2019
Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes 43 seconds.
This is a video of the Q&A session of the 50th Travelling Cabinet event, recorded live in Stirling.
Questions were unknown by the FM or the Cabinet Members ahead of time.
The questions were asked by members of the audience and answered thereafter by the appropriate Minister and in many cases by the FM herself.
Questions were also received from members of the public via email and social media (The appropriate contact details are posted throughout the video).
Questions that were unable to be fully answered on the night would be followed up by a detailed answer delivered by letter or email to the person who posed the question.
Over refreshments, shortbread and gingerbread, a further hour-long opportunity was made available to chat to any member of the cabinet or the FM face to face.